'Race to Nowhere' chronicles stressed out, high-achieving youth

The maker of a documentary whisking across the country this fall and catching the attention of parents worried about frazzled children pushed to excel at any price will be the guest speaker at Chapman University’s screening of “Race to Nowhere, the Dark Side of America’s Achievement Culture.”

The event opens with a 7 p.m. reception Monday, Nov. 29, in Irvine Lecture Hall. The screening will begin at 7:30 p.m. and a Q&A wth filmmaker Vicki Abeles will follow.

 The documentary examines the lives of bright students and their families snowed under by fierce academic competition.[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uem73imvn9Y] Abeles, the lawyer turned filmmaker behind the documentary, faced the crisis personally while in a hospital emergency room as her 12-year old daughter was being treated for stress-related illness. She saw firsthand how the pressures were overwhelming not only to her own kids, but to students everywhere – in every kind of school environment and community.

Since its premier one year ago at the Mill Valley Film festival, the film has enjoyed a burst of grass-roots attention and support and garnered a  devoted Facebook following.

The event is free and sponsored by the Paulo Freire Democratic Project, College of Educational Studies. For more information, visit the CES website.

Dawn Bonker

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